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Department News - Spring 2017

Drama Graduate Program Name Change
May 2017
The Tufts Drama Graduate program officially changed its name from "PhD in Drama" to "PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies". This change marks the exciting curricular and pedagogical developments that have occurred over the past year and where the Graduate Program is heading under the direction of Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Noe Montez. Learn more about our graduate program.

The Dance Program Spring Dance Weekend Performances
April 2017
The Dance Program
Dance students, faculty, and visiting artists participated in events for the Spring Dance Weekend. First up was the Spring Dance Concert in which dancers of the Dance Repertory & Performance under the direction of guest artist, Jun Kuribayashi, explored movement ideas alongside work by graduating dance minors Jane Acker, Nelly Agosta, Tereasa Ho and Miriam Priven. Watch the Spring Dance Concert Previews.

Next was the Choreographer's Showcase, which featured artists from the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts for an afternoon of new work and works-in-progress with works by Annahstasia Enuke, Eve Feldberg, Liz Malaene, Annie Roome, and guests. Academic advisor: Danny McCusker.

Fantastic performances this evening by students in the Spring Dance Concert hosted by the Tufts Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies! Congratulations to all the seniors on their final dance performances! – Anthony Monaco via Facebook post

Desire Under the Elms, By Eugene O'Neill, Directed by Heather S. Nathans
April 2017
Desire Under the Elms poster
Spring 2017 brought Eugene O'Neill's classic tale of forbidden passion and murder, Desire Under the Elms to Tufts Balch Arena Theater. Originally banned in Boston in the 1920s for its provocative themes, O'Neill's drama focuses on the triangle between Eben, Abbie, and Ephraim, who find themselves locked in an intense battle for survival. The play plunges the characters into extremes of love and hate, driving each to terrible acts of vengeance. While some reviewers found it "hideous" or "twisted" on its debut, others claimed that its poetry seared the soul. Almost a century after it opened, Desire Under the Elms remains a play that challenges audiences to question conventional ideas of morality and love.

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ArtsFlash Events at Tufts
Spring 2017
Each year, thousands of students on all the Tufts campuses take classes in the arts and participate in performance events as both artists and audience members. This past spring, The Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, along with Art and Art History, Film and Media Studies, Tufts SMFA, and Tufts ExCollege, celebrated the Arts at Tufts with a series of arts "flashes" created by programs across the Medford and SMFA campuses. As students encountered these performances, they were invited to ask how the arts engage with critical questions of identity, citizenship, and belonging. The events offered space for all members of the Tufts community to share inspiration and create paths forward into the future.

The Arts Flash series erupted at a series of unexpected locations throughout the semester. The events included short films, music, drama, dance, and spoken word performances, and presented opportunities to create spontaneous pieces of art. Students joined us as audience members, co-creators, and fellow artists.

The King Stag, by Carlo Gozzi, adapted and directed by Natalya Baldyga in collaboration with Daniel McCusker
February 2016
The King Stag set design

The King Stag set design
"Really enjoyed Tufts Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies' performance of Carlo Gozzi's 'The King Stag' adapted & directed by Natalya Baldyga!" – Tufts President Anthony Monaco via Twitter

In February 2017, the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies was pleased to present The King Stag by Carlo Gozzi. In the prologue, director Natalya Baldyga discussed her passion for the production: "This production is a result of a thirty-year love affair. I first encountered The King Stag as a young college student, when I worked for Italian director Giovanni Pampiglione in Rome. I would go on to research and write about Carlo Gozzi in college, graduate school, and beyond. Producing my own translation and adaptation has allowed me to combine my scholarly interests in eighteenth-century theatre with my artistic love of physical theatre."

Synopsis of The King Stag: Angela found the love of her life and was preparing to live happily ever after. But now her beloved king has been enchanted and his evil advisor has taken over the kingdom! What's a girl to do? Welcome to Carlo Gozzi's magical fairy tale of love and laughter, of transformation and treachery. Delighting audiences since its premiere in eighteenth-century Venice, The King Stag combines hilarious physical comedy with theatrical beauty and charming romance. Will good triumph over evil? Can love really conquer all? And what's up with the mysterious parrot that's popping up everywhere?

All proceeds from the Saturday, February 25th show of The King Stag were donated to the support the Tufts Swipe It Forward program. "Swipe It Forward" is a combined initiative from Dining Services, TCU Senate, and OSSA to provide a platform for students to donate their meal swipes to other students in order to alleviate ongoing food insecurity on campus. Its mission is to provide a confidential and efficient way for students who may be having difficulty finding their next meal receive the help they deserve. Find out how you can help.

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Dance & Healthy Aging with Parkinsons Disease
January 2017
On January 28 & 29 the Dance Program, in conjunction with the Occupational Therapy and Community Health departments, hosted an expanded two-day workshop focused on Dance & Healthy Aging with Parkinsons Disease. Spearheaded by Linda Tickle-Degnen and lead by Pamela Quinn (PD Movement Lab) and David Leventhal of the Mark Morris Dance Group, the experiential workshop included over 60 participants from the Tufts and local Boston community, including approximately 15 community members currently facing the challenges of Parkinsons Disease. The event was made possible by generous support from the Tufts Diversity Fund and additional grant support arranged by Professor Tickle-Degnen.

Ghost Light Poster
Ghostlight Project
January 2017
On January 19, Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies students, faculty, and staff joined members of the nation's theatre community in the Ghostlight Project to pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity or sexual orientation. Inspired by the theatrical tradition of keeping a "ghost light" on in a darkened theater, the Ghostlight Project and participating theatres joined in a collective, simultaneous action, together creating "light" for times ahead.